Ten years of undivided attention. Ten years where I was the show and everyone else was the audience. Ten years of my own toys, my own books and DVDs. Then, all of a sudden, those ten years had ended and I got the biggest surprise of my life.
Being about 10 years old and learning that I was going to be a big sister was the best news of my life. I remember people asking me if I would be okay or if I would get jealous if the attention wouldn’t be all on me. I simply shrugged with a smile and told them I was just so excited to have a little sibling. I had a kaleidoscope mind as a child, playing in my own little world. Now I was ready to have a new best friend.
When my little brother was born, I had never seen such a precious little baby. He quickly became my world. I was there for his first steps, his multiple attempts at eating baby food and when he said his first words in his adorable baby voice. Never did I feel neglected or competing for attention because all of my attention was on him. There’s an indescribable bond between siblings and I felt there was an even stronger force with our age difference.
Two years later I found out that I would be a big sister once again. I was so happy that my brother would have a playmate that I craved for when I was little. My world got so much brighter, I felt whole. But with this one, there were more complications with his birth. He was born a bit earlier and had to spend a few nights in the NICU. I would scrub in like those surgeons on Grey’s Anatomy to see my baby brother. The special care nursery was a mix of worry and relief. Of course, I was worried about my brother, but I was so relieved to see him, to feel his fist wrapped around my finger. He was the chunkiest baby there with a head full of dark hair.
Passing with flying colors and working up his strength, my littlest brother finally came home! Oh, what a wonderful day that was, walking out of the hospital with my whole family. Another round of firsts was shared at my home. Then as if in a blink of an eye, they were starting school and picking out their pencil cases. There’s a quote by Angela Schwindt I stumbled upon that has stuck with me as I watch my brothers blossom into magnificent young men. “While we try to teach our children all about life, Our children teach us what life is all about.”
Although they were not my children, I relate to this so much. I always want to teach my brothers the way of life to keep them safe and out of the dark, scary world. But time and time again, they surprise me with their intellect and strength. I have my parents to thank for making them such remarkable kids.
The years ahead of us are only just beginning. There’s a whole new set of firsts as they continue to grow up. Being away at college is tough, I’m not going to lie or sugar coat it because it’s just hard not to be with them all the time. Thank goodness for modern technology like Snapchat and FaceTime to keep me up to date on their lives. They just finished their first week of school as a third grader and first grader. I know they’re doing just fine, having fun at recess and birthday parties.
So to my brothers, my best friends who make me laugh and smile until my face hurts, this is for you. I hope this shows you how important you are to my life. The love I have for you two is as vast as the ocean. Seeing you two grow up has been the biggest victory of my life. Here’s to many years of laughter, love and happiness. I love you too much!